About the Author

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About The Author of

"Bush for the Bushman"

 

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The author, John Perrott, graduated from UC Berkeley in engineering, a fourth generation Californian, from gold rush pioneer stock. He was born on a cattle ranch near Eureka, northern California, where his great aunt Laura Perrott Mahan was an early leader in the conservation movement as a founder of Save The Redwoods, in the 1920's. His aunt Vera Perrott Vietor created the philanthropic Humbolt Area Foundation in the 1970's. The author published "Bush For The Bushmen" in 1992, and created Save The Kalahari San in 1993.

After his military career as a Navy flyer, his 35 year engineering construction career took him around the globe, to many remote and exotic places. His only 'In USA' assignment was on the Alaska pipeline in the mid-70's. During his seventeen years in Africa, he went 'bush' whenever possible, living with the local people and wildlife. He learned KiSwahili in East Africa in order to live and communicate with the indigenous people in the remote areas without guide or translator. Perrott says "I've lived in San Francisco but I left my heart in Africa". Additionally he has traveled from Tibet to Timbuktu, Mongolia to Machu Picchu, Kilimamjaro to the Coral Sea and many more places - as an adventure traveler, photographer and diver.

On his early and in those days rare visit with the Kalahari Bushmen, Perrott and his travel companions led by Dr. Jack Wheeler, were profoundly touched by the small group of nomadic hunter-gathers with whom they spent time. Like those who enchanted moviegoers in "THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY", the Bushmen were dressed in skins and were managing to still survive in the Kalahari thirstland, hunting with poisoned arrows and gathering what sparse food they could find, living 'stone age' simple. The visiting group were dismayed to find that the onslaught of civilization (especially cattle) is rapidly dispossessing the San of their last God-given bush and wild animals, and now their very extinction is imminent.

John Perrott has worked in the rugged wilds of Iran Jaya with the head hunters who killed young Rockefeller in the late 1960's. He ramrodded the building of an oil pipeline across the rugged Andes in Colombia, despite anti-government guerrillas and torrential rains. He brings this same 'can do' spirit that built billion dollar projects, to saving the Kalahari ecosystem and the San. He is a 'hard-nosed-construction stiff'-cum-Sans 'pragmatic-bleeding heart'! His visits with a small family clan in the Kalahari was like a 'time machine voyage' back to before the agricultural revolution "to visit our oldest living relatives, to see OURSELVES, discover our roots". He appeals to humanity to save a people whose peace, calm and attunement with nature we 'civilized' people can only envy.

Semi-retired now and living in Texas, Perrott is devoting time and efforts to the cause of the Bushmen. He finances these activities by responding as consultant to calls to put out the Kuwait oil fires or plan pipelines in Papau New Guinea, Sumatra or the Algerian Sahara, or a recent 10 month stint in Mozambique projecting a 900 square mile game reserve (Approved by the Mozambique government in October of 1996).

If Perrott had his way, he'd open the sanctuary to a few Bushmen to live and roam free with their endangered wildlife, as in the past. What better game guards are there than their real owners?

 

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ECOTERRA International is a worldwide organisation supporting Indigenous Peoples. It stands for their right to decide their own future and helps them protect their lives, lands and human rights. ECOTERRA is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in 1968, which receives no funds from any national government.

 

We are also working with other groups to raise funds to repossess, lease or secure ancestral lands in southern Africa, where communities of San can redefine their traditional way of life. Please join us!